2023 NRL Round 6: Raiders 20, Broncos 14

Fresh off the back of a punishing defeat to defending champions Penrith, an enthused Canberra Raiders side exposed the soft underbelly of the previously undefeated Broncos.


Canberra Raiders 20
Tries: (3) Jordan Rapana 4th, 29th; Albert Hopoate 50th
Goals: (4) Jarrod Croker 6th, 31st, 38th, 52th

Brisbane Broncos 14
Tries: (3) Selwyn Cobbo 14th; Jordan Riki 42nd; Jesse Arthars 70th
Goals: (1) Adam Reynolds 44th

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With the Raiders reeling from a 53-12 thrashing at the hands of reigning champions Penrith Panthers in Round 5, the Suncorp visitors got off to a great start with much of the intensity they lacked the week prior.

The Green Machine made use of an early Broncos attacking error with fast tempo play to reach the Broncos 20m line in just two tackles to then spread right to Rapana who went over unchallenged.

Mid-way through the first half Selwyn Cobbo answered the Raiders’ score with an impressive effort down the right touch line, managing to get the ball down under a strong challenge from two Canberra defenders which included a shoulder charge from Sebastian Kris.

The Broncos tried to wrestle the game back in their favour and did so with some success but little clinically, bombing a number of chances and ultimately paying the price when Jordan Rapana muscled over from short range to extend the Raiders’ lead, leaving a trio of Broncos players dumfounded at their own defensive effort.

The Broncos lost a key middle in Flegler to a Kris elbow to the head but managed to maintain a level of control in the middle, going close with a short ball to Payne Haas near the line only for the Raiders’ to intercept with a desperate defensive read.

It was the Raiders’ who would have the final say of the half despite the home side looking the most likely to score again, however, with Jarrod Croker continuing a stellar day off the tee with a penalty goal to put the visitors 14-4 in the lead going into the sheds at half time.

The Broncos started the second half the better of the two sides with Jordan Riki franking Broncos pressure by getting on the end of a bobbling kick just a few minutes in.

The ascendency wouldn’t last long though, and the Raiders’ broke the Broncos defence easily to set up an attacking kick to the left, in which Fogarty shunned a 5 on 2 overlap to go aerially which ultimately paid off.

A key error came as the Raiders’ tried to exit their half 20 minutes in and the Broncos pressed the Raiders’ line, gaining three set restarts for Reece Walsh to then pass into touch and lose all momentum.

Having held the Broncos out with ease, Canberra exited safely and held off woeful attack from the Broncos with excellent enthusiasm and desire before Jesse Arthars used every inch of turf to cross in the corner after Grant Atkins gifted the Broncos a repeat set.

Adam Reynolds copped an injured shoulder from a late push in the scoring attack and Kotoni Staggs assumed kicking duties to then miss from the touchline.

The Raiders appeared to have tired and the Broncos’ set off the ensuing kick-off travelled well into the Raiders’ half, but the visitors kept finding and repelled the Broncos next attempt until Rapana dropped a high bomb from Adam Reynolds after taking an accidental knee to the head from Martin Taupau.

The play resulted in a contentious penalty and Taupau on report and the Raiders’ were able to clear their lines and repel the closing Broncos sets to see out the game and an impressive upset.


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3 – Jordan Rapana (Raiders)
2 – Albert Hopoate (Raiders)
1 – Payne Haas (Broncos)

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